Oxford United developments will trigger some Cardiff City regret and it could get worse: View


  • Cardiff City must sign a goalscorer in the summer transfer window to address their lacking offensive performance.
  • Mark Harris, after successful season in League One, aims to prove himself in the Championship with new team Oxford United.
  • Harris’ departure has already shown benefit to Oxford, and Cardiff may regret letting him go if he excels in the Championship.

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Cardiff City have improved greatly in the EFL Championship under Turkish manager Erol Bulut this season, but a lack of goals has hindered their progression after striker Mark Harris was deemed surplus to requirements at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Harris enjoyed the best goal-scoring season of his career in his first permanent move away from Cardiff when he joined League One side Oxford United on a free transfer in July 2023.

Despite being born in Swansea, Harris came through the academy of bitter South Wales rivals Cardiff, where he made his first team debut in an FA Cup defeat to Fulham at 18 years old.

He scored his first senior-level goal while on loan at fellow South Wales club Newport County in a 1-1 draw with Exeter City in a League Two fixture at St James’ Park.

The 25-year-old made almost a century of appearances for the Bluebirds over his time with the club and even made his international debut for Wales before moving to Oxford.

Harris’ 19 goals and five assists in all competitions this season have been pivotal in helping the club make the play-offs. He played every minute of the play-off campaign as the U’s won promotion to the Championship via a 2-0 win against Bolton Wanderers at Wembley.

Cardiff must add a goalscorer in the summer

Cardiff have improved on last season’s league position by nine places as they finished middle of the pack in the Championship. Bulut’s side will need to improve their goalscoring if they want to close the 11-point gap they left to the play-offs next term.

The South Wales club finished as the ninth-lowest scorers in the division, behind relegation-threatened Blackburn Rovers and Plymouth Argyle, with only 53 goals. This lack of goals contributed to their negative 17 goal difference, which was worse than relegated Birmingham City.

The Bluebirds are lacking a player who can reliably score goals and had the joint lowest top goalscorer of any team in the second tier. Striker Karlan Grant and defender Perry Ng shared their club’s top scorer award with six league goals each.

Harris managed three more league goals than Grant and Ng combined, albeit in the division below, and will hope to bring that form into the 2024/25 Championship season.

Mark Harris will relish another season in the Championship


Harris will feel that he left Cardiff with some unfinished business in the Championship. His highest goal tally in any season in the division is only three goals, and he has reached that figure in each of his last three seasons in the division.

The Welshman’s move down to League One, and subsequent performances in the third tier, will give him the confidence to have another crack at the second tier and prove that he deserves to be in the division and re-gain a place in Rob Page’s Wales squad.

Mark Harris 2023/24 League One Statistics (From Sofascore)



Minutes Per Game






Team Of The Week Appearances


Now, Harris has had the best spell of his career in League One with Oxford this season and was vital to his team’s effort to win promotion to the Championship. At just 25 years of age, the forward is approaching his peak years and will be eager to show his class in the second tier and make his former employers regret letting him go.

That regret will be there already given Harris’ goals in 2023/24 and Cardiff’s struggle in the final third, it will only intensify if the striker makes the step up and shines in the Championship again in 24/25.


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